Arts and Culture

Apple Tree Romance

Pearl and the Beard help keep your summer afloat, just.

By Thom Wong 4 Aug 2011 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong writes regularly about music for The Tyee. He can also be found ruminating about the state of menswear at The Sunday Best.

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Pearl and the Beard showing us what it's like to be young and happy.

Does it make sense that a summer, as short as the one we're currently experiencing in Vancouver, should have two perfect songs for it? Even calling what we're experiencing short is a stretch, since that implies a run of back-to-back days of sunshine, beaches and exposed knees. With music as good as Pearl and the Beard's "Sweetness," we might be in for the autumn of our lives.

"Sweetness" comes from their second full-length (you can stream the entire album and more on their website), and starts with some honest-to-God cello and handclapping, which means it's front-loaded with two pop music tropes that, when done well, can carry an entire song. Pearl and the Beard could have sat back on those cello notes and hand claps and called it a day.

Instead they add hummed harmonies and urgent acoustic guitars, building to a heady swell before backing off and, Lord have mercy, simply cutting out. No long fade. End of song.

Proving they're no one trick pony, Pearl and the Beard then produce the perfect two-minute pop song built on, yes, more handclaps and a field-chant sounding hoe-down. "Douglas Douglass" comes across as the world's silliest love song, rhyming off of the titular Douglas combined with various tree names, but done with such conviction that you believe in this sycamore love, this apple tree romance. Add "Sweetness" and "Douglas Douglass" to your summer playlist, mix up some mint juleps, and chase what's left of the summer on a patio.  [Tyee]

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